February 5, 2016
Returns and Refunds: Upholding the Rights of Your Loyal Customers
Businesses value loyal customers, but what happens when they complain about a poor product? Here are some things merchants can do to keep their clientele happy and coming back again and again.
Sell A Good Product and Service It Well
The easiest way to reduce the number of complaints you get is by selling an outstanding product or service. When people are happy with what you offer, you don’t have to deal with as many customer service requests.
Complaints don’t always come out because of a bad product, however. Sometimes, the problem is that there is an underlying cultural problem within the company, which infects the customer service problem. Usually, these communication-based problems end up creating problems where none existed before.
And, usually these become very pronounced when a mistake happens (as it eventually will), and there is a case of a faulty product. The customer service team is incapable of handling the problem well, and the organization suffers.
So, focus on a good product, and don’t forget about service after the sale.
Have a Complaints Handling Procedure
Just having a complaints resolution and handling procedure is acknowledging that it’s possible for your company to make mistakes. That’s a very healthy admission.
Nearly every business has to deal with returns and faulty products. How you deal with them determines how your company is perceived in the marketplace. Your company should be proactive about fixing faulty products, helping customers get refunds for those products, and ensuring that your company is following laws and regulations under the COnsumer Rights Act and Sale of Goods Act.
For example, every customer has a right to a refund if the product is faulty, not as described, or not fit for the purpose for which it was sold.
If a retailer refuses to refund money after attempting to fix the problem, the government will step in to assist the consumer. In general, consumers have the right to a refund within the first 30 days after purchase. But, you have the right to make good on the product by offering to fix the faulty product for the customer at no charge.
Have Sales Contracts For Complex and Expensive Products
Negligence is a nasty word, and no business wants to be sued because of a defective product. At the same time, you can’t control how a customer might use your product. So, what’s a merchant to do?
One option is to make sure all of your high ticket sales come with contracts – sales contracts that spell out exactly how the sale is to be completed, terms of the contract, and clear communication as to the terms of the sale.
While this does not negate the rights of the consumer, it can make it easier for your business to communicate the terms of the sale, what’s expected of the customer, and limits of liability. It can also reduce your risk of being sued for negligence because you will be fully-informing the customer before the sale.
If the product is found to be defective, you will still have to fix or refund the customer, but at least you will have some measure of protection with a contract against further damages.
Anna Byrne runs an online business. She loves sharing her insights by posting on the web. Look for her articles mostly on business websites.